Rogue surgeon was allowed to continue operating for years because patients’ interests were not put first, report says

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 20 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7648
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A rogue surgeon was able to go on performing risky operations for years on women with breast cancer despite concerns raised by colleagues who were “at their wits’ end,” a damning report has found.1

Oncologists and radiologists told managers at Solihull Hospital that Ian Paterson was performing unauthorised “cleavage saving mastectomies” that left breast tissue behind and increased the risk of the cancer recurring. A consultant oncologist first raised the issue in 2004 after carrying out an unofficial audit.

But a review by Ian Kennedy, former chairman of the Healthcare Commission, found that weak management at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, a closed culture, and a failure to put the patient first let Paterson go on operating until mid-2011.

Paterson, who was appointed a consultant at …

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